'Serious concern' over children's services

Children's services in Neath Port Talbot are failing to protect vulnerable people according to an inspection body.

'Safeguarding children is top priority'

Neath Port Talbot council have accepted that more needs to be done to improve children's services after criticism from the Welsh government and the Chief Inspector of social services.

The Council has made some progress in the last twelve months, something that is recognised in the report, but there is much still to do and important areas for us to address. To this end, I will be putting in place additional cross-party arrangements to support the improvement programme.

– Cllr Alun Thomas, Leader of the Council

Welsh government responds to 'serious concerns'

The Deputy Minister for Social Services has said she is not prepared for services to children to fall below acceptable standards.

I want to emphasise that the action being taken by the Chief Inspector is designed to act as a driver for improvement and to enable the authority to support their staff in achieving the best outcomes for children and their families.

– Gwenda Thomas, Deputy Minister for Social Services

The minister added that she has met with the Leader and the Chief Executive of the council and that she expects immediate action.

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'Serious concern' over children's services

Children's services in Neath Port Talbot are failing to protect vulnerable people and failing to meet statutory requirements according to the body charged with inspecting them.

I am concerned about the lack of progress, despite the dedication and hard work of front line staff, in addressing the significant problems we have identified.

I have met with the Chief Executive and he understands that there needs to be a step change in the performance of children’s social services and that he needs to ensure that all of the necessary actions are taken to rapidly improve these services.

– Imelda Richardson, Chief Inspector